Ottawa – Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville – Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, today expressed pleasure that Bill S233, also known as the Boating Bill finished Third Reading and was passed on a voice vote in the House of Commons on Monday.
“The Bill received all party support and I expect it will receive Royal Assent before the summer,” Brown says.
The Bill will allow foreign pleasure craft to transit Canadian waters without the need to check in with Canadian Customs as long as they do not anchor, tie up to another vessel, or land. For example, currently, as soon as a US pleasure craft crosses the border, the operator must check in with the Canadian Border Security Agency.
“This has caused a number of problems and poor publicity for Canada,” explains Brown.
“In many cases, for example fishermen, may drift across the border and not realize they are in Canada.”
It has also caused concern among boaters who like to transit waters sight-seeing and may not know they are breaking the law.
“If they can’t come into our water, they can’t see what’s on shore that might encourage them to visit,” explains Brown.
Once they do come ashore they must check in with CBSA, and under the new Bill CBSA retains the right to stop any vessel it wishes.
The Bill was introduced in the Senate by Senator Bob Runciman. Brown introduced a similar Bill in the House. Since the Senate passed the Bill first, Brown sponsored it in the House and pushed for swift passage.